Casting Riffs Afar: an interview with Seneron

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From Northern Ireland Seneron is a band starting to make strong marks worldwide, especially with the release of their new EP Order Restored. Consisting of four songs which provoke the listener with a riot of big rhythms, caustic riffing, and melodic flaming, the compelling release follows the recent signing of the band to GlobMetal Promotions for a worldwide management deal. Things are moving for this Derry quartet so we grabbed the opportunity to find out more about the band, their music, and metal in their homeland.

Hi and a big thank you for sparing time to talk with us.

Hello, and thank you very much for asking us to complete this interview we are extremely humbled.

For those not yet introduced to Seneron can you do the honours and also give some background to the band?

We all met through the local cover band circuit here in Ireland and instantly became friends with our passion for rock music and the local band scene. From that we talked about creating some original material and all agreed to give it six months to see what would happen. Two years later and two records completed we have had success but aim to reach new fans all over the world in the very near future.

Seneron is not the first band for its members then, is there a richer history to you all musically?

All of us have played in many different bands over the years, some has created success and others have not. At this moment in time all of us are a part of Seneron and we have been graced with some success. We can all see the potential that the band can have on a worldwide stage and are very excited about that.

From the outside there seems to be a strong rock and metal scene in Northern Ireland right now how do you see it on the inside?

Yeah there’s a big wealth of really good bands here especially in the rock and metal genre. There certainly is no shortage of them and we’re kind of spoilt for choice here if you’re looking to go out and rock out on a night out which is really cool. Also having a lot of bands locally will help the music and ethos of the metal message reach more people, so that is always a good thing!

Is there a community spirit/unity between bands there too?

There certainly is a very good community spirit between bands here as they are willing to co-headline gigs and support other bands which have supported them on another nights and help each other out with equipment etc. to make the show happen, but you can’t let that fool you either because music is music and bands trying to make an impression will try and outdo the other bands performing on the night so competition is rife which is healthy too!

Are there certain inspirations which have driven your musical intent and the band’s sound?

Well we all grew up with the grunge scene and have been influenced from early punk bands from the seventies like the Sex Pistols etc. plus the early thrash scene, all combined have pretty much influenced us as performers and especially as songwriters. Also the whole DIY scene has influenced the way that we book tours, release records and promote ourselves over the world.

artworks-000037125684-j76vvd-cropYour recent EP Order Restored, our introduction to you, has earned strong interest outside of your homeland including radio play in the US, has this surprised you in any way?

Short answer – YES!!! We are amazed that a lot of countries have opened their arms to us and our fan base keeps growing each day. We hope to continue promoting the band all over the world and perhaps get to visit in 2014.

How has your sound evolved since forming to the latest release or is it still pretty much the same beast as on day one?

In a band like ours your sound has to evolve in order to become unique and not sound like anyone else. There are so many bands around the world that you have to do something different each night you perform in order to stand out. For us we experiment in creating new sounds, different riffs, arrangements and trying to stretch our musical boundaries. We feel that we have created a well-rounded sound but there is always room for improvement.

Tell us about the writing process within the band. 

Most of the time John (singer) would come to rehearsal’s with a general idea of a riff, melody or a selection of words. We would jam out those ideas to see what sticks and all of us would have a creative input. From that we would listen back to see if we actually like it and try to add various ideas to see if we can get a good sounding song.  It’s quite a lengthy process at times but it’s all worth the hard work when we finally take it to the stage!

What do you find is the spark that songs then generally spring from, riffs or more melodic ideas?

Generally we would come up with the riff first then the melodies would progress after that. A typical day in our rehearsal space is that we would jam countless ideas until a few would see potential. Then we would all take that idea away and try to come back with a progression of that idea.

Do you write songs to demo stage before entering the studio or are you band which likes to takes ideas, seeds of songs into that situation and evolve them there?

We demo everything that we write and play it live for a few months before we record the final version. The reason for this is that in song writing you can always improve on a good idea. So for us we like to get feedback from our fans at the live shows and see which song gets the best reaction. For example the track Dead Stare on our new record nearly did not make the final cut as we didn’t really like the version, but when we played it live we always got people asking us where they can buy it and how good the song is! So we have learned to listen to our fans!

Many bands say and feel their home towns/cities influence their sound and imagination quite potently, has Derry had that impact on you?

I think for us personally it’s pretty much music that we have heard on radio and television through media coverage that has influenced the band. Although watching rock bands perform in local pubs and clubs when we were young gave us all the burning ambition to get on that stage and rock out, but you could say that the lyrics are basically stories about experiences of everyday life in general which is easy to write.

You have also have a great reputation for your live shows, this is an area we suspect you revel in and maybe even have your greatest personal moments?seneron

With being on the road for the last two years we have seen a lot of things but every night would be classed as the greatest as we a grateful for the chance to perform on any stage over the country. We are excited when we meet new fans, get a tweet from someone across the world and hear our music on different world wide stations. For us that’s the greatest and appreciate everyone who interacts with us!

Any particularly memorable gigs either for positive or negative reasons which have impacted on the band?

We always remind ourselves what the gigs were like when we first started and look to where we are now. Like every band we paid our dues by playing to a few fans in a quiet venue and we appreciate it a lot more when we see our crowds increase on every show. Those early days shapes a band and makes you realise it’s not an easy business to crack but with hard work and dedication success can be obtained as we are the proof!

What is ahead for Seneron across the rest of 2013?

The plan for us is to continue promote Order restored and our new single Dead Stare for the rest of the year. We will have a tour of Ireland and the UK in Sept/Oct and plan to go back into the studio to record another record and hopefully get to visit Europe in 2014.

Once again big thanks for chatting with us…

So finally listening to the excellent Order Restored EP we know why people should go watch you live and grab the release but would you like to end with a sales pitch as to why people should come out and catch you live at the very least?

As well as having really good energetic tunes slapped in your face and a high impact live show we promise to deliver a fun event which will have the audience interact with the band in friendly banter and craic as we say here in Ireland. We don’t take ourselves too seriously but we promise to make it a real fun show and to leave the audience taking about it for days, weeks! So catch us while you can because you never know when we can get back to your home town!

Read the Order Restored EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/seneron-order-restored-ep/

Dead Stare the new Seneron single is released on Monday 15th July

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http://www.seneron.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 11/07/2013

 

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Helene Greenwood – The Break EP

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Like a fresh breeze across a sultry summer embrace, the vocals and debut EP from Helene Greenwood bring seductive joy on a smouldering emotive landscape. The Break is a five track evocative kiss on senses and thoughts from an artist who enchants and seduces with a craft of songwriting and vocal persuasion which leaves the richest warmth inside as it evokes reflection and imagination.

Hailing from Dover and now Camden, London based, Greenwood initially began her musical career as a contemporary composer studying at The Royal Academy. The birth of her daughter in 2005 led her to exploring her songwriting and more narrative based lyrical music. With a music degree from Royal Holloway under her belt she studied singing with internationally acclaimed singers Nia Lynn and Anita Wardell as well as songwriting with Gretchen Parlato in 2011 at Stanford University. Taking inspiration from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Björk and Feist as well as jazz singing, Greenwood finally is at the point, ahead of her full-length debut Collectable You, where she is introducing her music to the greater world building on her brewing recognition across venues in London, the lady regularly performing at Proud Galleries in Camden and also at Stanford University Coffee House.

Released on her own label Washaway Records, The Break is a riveting emotional sun of elegance and melodic grandeur brought Screen-Shot-2013-05-22-at-19.14.05in the gentle caress of honest observation lyrically and unfussy beauty musically. Produced by band-member Calum MacColl (son of folk legends Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger) and featuring James Hallawell of The Waterboys on keyboards, as well as Martyn Brabbins (Billy Bragg/Beth Gibbons) on drums and Arnulf Lindler (KT Tunstall) on bass, the five song spark of aural light marks the emergence of a remarkably promising artist.

Opening song Break In Break Out makes a play for the emotions instantly, the vocals of Greenwood a radiating sunspot against a wonderful cello croon from Lindler. It is a melancholic yet vibrant invitation with the keys of Hallawell crafting a classical emotive elegance within the already enthralling hug. Once the song erupts into a full wind of melodic passion the song looks to the skies with colour soaked beauty, the trombone of Jonathan Enright another impacting suasion on thoughts and feelings. It is a wonderful mesmeric start matched more often than not across the rest of the release.

Certainly second song In Between Days stands side by side with its predecessor in potency and glory. A cover of The Cure classic, Greenwood strips down the song to make it her own, so much so that it took more than a few moments to realise what it was. She brings a new strain of melancholia to the songs enthralling glide through the ear with the keys weaving a sensitive and provocative ambience to add to the emotive depth and the guitar of MacColl sculpting its own emotional shelter. The song sways and calls the heart like a courtly temptress but it is the majestic vocals which guides the listener into the richest beauteous climate. The keys are also exceptional as they paint another narrative to share further the heart of the song whilst the drums of Brabbins bring a climatic swell to proceedings as its finale brews in riveting fashion before calming before the last touch of the song, a last gentle brush of its melodic lips.

In The Sunshine and After the Fire continue the aural and perceptive fascination, the first a soulful melodic drift across reflective horizons and equally creative thoughts whilst its successor, an initial duet of vocals and keys, blooms into a jazz lit flame of almost noir shadowed life and inspirational enterprise. It is a stunning song which could soundtrack any life at some point in time, revealing its hope, dark, and reality.

Closing song is another cover, this time of the Johnny Mercer and Rube Bloom written Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread). One of our all-time favourite songs we set high demands on any version and though it is arguably the least successful song on the EP, Greenwood again gives it a new fire and bed of sentiment which is impossible to resist, as is the smouldering melodic wrap of her again mouthwatering voice.

The Break EP is one of the most startling introductions of any artist in a long time and Helene Greenwood at the start of what you can only suspect will be a swift ascent of melodic and creative passion spawned innovation. We suggest all hitch a ride now and stand ready to enjoy the forthcoming rewards of the first album Collectable You; we have a feeling it is going to be something special.

http://www.helenegreenwood.com/

9/10

RingMaster 11/07/2013

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Lord Dying – Summon the Faithless

Lord Dying

You are standing under a moonless sky with all the hordes of hell descending on your singular patch of light. You need back-up to fend off the insidiousness eager to devour every atom, who would you want by your side? If we were you we would choose heavy metallers Lord Dying because if their gladiatorial prowess and consuming might is as immense and irresistible as that of their debut album Summon the Faithless, everything will fall before their mountainous strength. The eight track tsunami of rapacious riffing, deliberately antagonistic rhythms, and sonic ferocity wrapped in melodic fire, is a sensational introduction to the Portland, Oregon quartet. It is unbridled high intensity unfussy heavy metal of the highest quality and animosity which instantly and firmly slams the band down at the same level as the likes of Black Tusk, Svolk, Red Fang, and maybe even Mastodon.

Within a year of forming, Lord Dying was sharing stages with the likes of Unsane, Red Fang, Yob, Valient Thorr locally as their sound and live presence ignited a rapidly increasing following. This start just grew as the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Eric Olson, bassist Don Capuano, guitarist Chris Evans, and drummer/vocalist Jonathan Reid ventured along the west coast with Danava and Lecherous Gaze as well as co-headlining a tour with Nether Regions around their home state. A self-titled 7” released came next via Powerblaster Records label and again drew strong attention towards them whilst shows supporting for Black Cobra and Gaza and a tour with Witch Mountain at the heart of 2012 thrust them up more rungs of recognition, accelerated again by a US tour in that October with  Red Fang and Black Tusk. Summon the Faithless is the key to a worldwide recognition, a muscular unlocking of that awareness which will not take no for an answer.

As soon as the Relapse Records released sinew strapped tempest lets opener In a Frightful State of Gnawed  SummonTheFaithlessDismemberment off of its leash you know what you are in for, an onslaught of adrenaline fuelled predacious metal as infectious as carnal relations and just as sweaty and dirty. The opening sonically sizzling start of the song is a climatic build offering a sense of impending danger wrapped in an intensive coaxing, riffs and drums heightening the energy and tension. The leap from its precipice is a fall into further inviting riffs and tumultuous rhythmic beckoning veined with carnivorous sonic sculpting of the senses. Into its full stride with the growling bear like vocals of Olson wonderfully intimidating, the song merges a sludge thick breath to white hot sonic provocation, the union speared with flesh scorching guitar invention and melodic toxins. It is an insatiable confrontation feeding the equally fevered appetite rampant in its recipient, and a breath-taking start to the onslaught.

Despite its immense stature and sound the starter is a mere appetiser to greater things as the title track soon shows. Immediately provoking the ear through a crescendo of riffs and drums the song evens out its pace into a lumbering prowl, the guitars and bass stalking the listener as the vocals graze with its narrative all within a cage of already impressive drum work on the album from Reid. With sonic scythes flaring up throughout there is a build into another commanding and dramatic focus of demanding intensity. Grooves, as throughout the album, bring another contagious lure to succumb to whilst the superbly shaped and honed guitar blazes whether as a solo or melodic seduction seal the deal for the passions in a fiery storm of superbly developed yet uncomplicated aggressive metal.

The following Greed Is Your Horse and Descend Into External continue the rise in power and quality of the album, the first a ravishing mix of Bloodsimple and Mastodon which insistently and relentlessly gnaws and pressures the senses whilst offering wantonly winning melodic mercury and sonic acidity as potent reward. Its successor stands face to face with the listener, riffs crawling over the skin like a swarm of locust whilst the drums give rhythmic acupuncture to the delicious itch driven deeper by the ever appealing vocals. Both songs leave hunger rife and lips licked voraciously for whatever is to come, in this case the best song on the album, Dreams of Mercy. With a Kyuss call to the sonic spires shooting from the base of the song and a rabidity to the squalling riffs, the track takes a mere breath to command the passions, the punk lilt to the vocal delivery adding further rich bait. It is a scintillating ferocious fire of melodic and sonic temptation taken to another pinnacle with the brilliant enslaving rhythmic enticement of Reid which has its own singular moment of seduction midway in. Accompanied by the bestial snarl of the bass it is dramatically persuasive, especially as shards of guitar flames lay their hot enticement into the coals and leads one eagerly into a closing dirt clad passion fuelled storm of metallic voracity.

Perverse Osmosis and Water Under A Burning Bridge stand tall in their mission to match their companion in the album’s furious creative assault, the first unleashing a new nastiness to its rapacious savagery whilst the second is a doom breathing oppressive smog of intensity and hunger driven riffing placed on reins of sonic contemplation. Exploring its every corner and depth, the song is arguably the most inventive track on the album and certainly alongside the others in inspiration.

The closing esurient What Is Not…Is,  where riffs, rhythms, and vocals fuel a ravenous thrash bred canvas clad in sonic waspishness and melodic toxicity, sums up band and release in one incendiary swoop, its creative poison  pure sirenesque aural manna. Summon the Faithless is easily one of the best albums this year so far and the best debut anywhere. Lord Dying will be chewing our senses and souls for years to come, this only the exceptional beginning and that is truly exciting.

https://www.facebook.com/LordDying

10/10

RingMaster 11/07/2013

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